Sunday, May 31, 2015
Canadian Courts Support Vicarious Liability for Employee Privacy Breaches
Canadian employers may face class action lawsuits based upon their accountability for violations of privacy by their employees, according to two recent court cases, each of which builds upon the 2012 decision in Jones v. Tsige which introduced the tort of intrusion upon seclusion. In the first case, Evans v. Wilson, the court found that a bank could be sued for its failure to properly supervise an employee who accessed customer information for personal purposes. In the second case, Hopkins v. Kay, the court came to a similar conclusion about employer liability with respect to breaches of patient information by hospital employees. The cases highlight the need for Canadian employers to establish strong privacy policies and programs, including appropriate training, supervision and monitoring of employees who have access to personal information.